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Philippines plummets in to recession as virus numbers spike

Jack Burton

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Philippines plummets in to recession as virus numbers spike | Thaiger
PHOTO: Reuters

The Philippines, reeling from Covid-19 lockdowns that have destroyed businesses and thrown millions out of work, plunged into recession after its biggest quarterly contraction on record, data showed today. The Philippine Statistics Authority says GDP 16.5% year-on-year in the second quarter as the country endured one of the world’s longest stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of the virus that’s devastated economies globally. It follows a revised 0.7% contraction in the first three months of the year and marks the biggest drop in economic activity since records began in 1981 during the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship. It’s the country’s first recession in 3 decades.

The outlook for the archipelago is bleak, with the number of coronavirus infections surging past 115,000 this week – a more than fivefold increase since early June when economy-crippling restrictions were eased. The Philippines is expected to exceed Indonesia in the next few days, to become the country with the highest number of cases in Southeast Asia. According to acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua:

“Without doubt, the pandemic and its adverse effect on the economy are testing the economy like never before. But unlike past crises, the Philippines is now in a much stronger position to address the crisis.”

Philippines plummets in to recession as virus numbers spike | News by Thaiger

As health workers struggle to cope with the inundation of patients, more than 27 million people in Manila and 4 surrounding provinces on the main island of Luzon, which accounts for more than 2 thirds of the country’s GDP, went back into a partial lockdown for 2 weeks on Tuesday to ease the strain on hospitals. But President Rodrigo Duterte, who was reluctant to tighten restrictions after millions became jobless in the first shutdown, warns the country can’t afford to stay closed for much longer:

“The problem is we don’t have money anymore. I cannot give food anymore and money to people,”

The Philippines’ economic woes have been amplified by a drop in remittances from the legions of Filipinos working abroad, who typically send money to their families every month, which fuels consumer spending – the main driver of growth. Remittances fell 6.4% in the first 5 months compared with the same period last year, according to the central bank, as thousands of seafarers, cleaners and construction workers lost their jobs and returned home. Consumer spending in the second quarter plummeted 15.5%, the statistics agency said.

It will be a rough road to recovery as trade-offs between economic recovery and health will remain a big challenge to both the private and public sectors.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Nikkei Aian Review

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Rinky Stingpiece

    Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 11:32 pm

    This thing really is the ultimate stress test for the global economy, and it really exposes the dependencies of some economies. Many economies have been getting by as sort of parasitically feeding off the more developed economies that tend to innovate and produce things. Many countries in the developing world are still relying on exporting primary resources, and letting the large numbers of unskilled labour get by on very dependent subsistence occupations. It seems very clear how badly these economies are in need of skilling up and training in productive industries.

  2. Avatar

    Mark

    Friday, August 7, 2020 at 2:00 am

    Countries are now sanctioning China for what has happened in the world by freezings Chinese assets for compensation do you think the ASEAN alliance will do the same to cover the billions of losses to jobs

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Current list of restrictions for provinces around Thailand

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Current list of restrictions for provinces around Thailand | Thaiger

The situation continues to be quite fluid. But if you need to travel at this time, here are the latest restrictions in the red and orange zone provinces. If you planning on travelling, you need to get acquainted with the latest restrictions in your destination province, and you should check if you need additional travel documents.

The could change at any time, so if you are going to be doing any travelling (the government are advising against it), you should get your paperwork ready in advance.

Provincial governors are also being given latitude by the central government to upscale any of the restrictions to meet local situations.

The infographic was compiled by the NBT.

Current list of restrictions for provinces around Thailand | News by Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

No room at the inn – Bangkok hospitals turning away people seeking Covid tests

Tim Newton

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No room at the inn – Bangkok hospitals turning away people seeking Covid tests | Thaiger

Today’s drop in newly reported infections by the CCSA has dampened Thai’s desire for a Covid test in and around Bangkok. Now, many hospitals around the city are restricting the numbers of patients tested. And if you want to be tested, Thai or foreigner, you better be ready to pay for it.

Thai Enquirer is reporting that at least 3 private hospitals are not accepting new Covid patients, including BNH Hospital, Praram 9 Hospital and Paolo Hospital in Phaholyotin. But even the latter, who had received a new batch of test kits, said they will take walk-ins but only from 0800 – 1700. The cost at Paolo Hospital is 4,500 baht.

According to Thai Enquirer, the city’s public hospitals are also limiting the number of new Covid tests. Thammasat University Hospital and King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital are doing tests but only on who they consider ‘at-risk’ communities, and only 100 tests per day. Taksin Hospital, on the west side of the Chao Phraya, is providing free Covid testing but, again, only people they consider ‘at-risk’ patients. None of them are providing the popular drive-through services. For the majority of the hospitals charging, costs for the tests are between 4,000 – 6,000 baht, depending on the patients and their perceived risk levels.

293 new infections were detected in Bangkok over the past 24 reporting period. 210 more cases were reported from provinces directly adjacent to Bangkok. Around the country there were 1,390 new cases reported this morning, down on yesterday and Saturday’s numbers but still well in excess of the numbers being reported in Thailand’s first and second waves.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand provincial figures for Monday’s Covid cases

Tim Newton

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Thailand provincial figures for Monday’s Covid cases | Thaiger

The NBT has published an infographic including all the provincial data on new Covid infections over the past 24 hours in Thailand. Note that some of the data is released by the provinces one day but not reported by the CCSA as a national tally until the following day.

Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Chon Buri, again, lead the way with the latest report. The provinces around Bangkok also feature heavily with today’s numbers. 63 of the country’s 77 provinces have all reported additional cases in the past 24 hours.

The CCSA earlier reported a total of 1,390 new Covid infections today. The tally is a welcome drop in new case reports after the last 5 days’ record levels of new infections. Yesterday there were 1,767 new infections reported.

3 more people have died of Covid-related illnesses, 14,851 people remain under state supervision.

Thailand provincial figures for Monday's Covid cases | News by Thaiger

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